Stars Falling and Souls Aloft…

A message came recently from a friend which said, “Before I got in touch with you, I used to gaze at the stars as they were only my friends, but after I met you I started believing that stars do fall on Earth”.

What a thoughtful accolade, especially coming from someone who is surrounded daily with extreme conflict and intolerance. It amazes me when people find the tiniest drop of positive thinking from inside a flood of dreariness and pain. It makes me stop to think how far I’ve come emotionally in my own life. I do believe that the human heart is the strongest muscle in the body with the most endurance.

Last week I had a conversation with a woman I crossed paths with on Suzanne Wigginton reached out and invited me to share my thoughts and feelings on her ”Souls Aloft” blog talk radio show regarding my mission to help those who are in some of the darkest, most dreary places on earth…state penitentiaries.

As we touched on the importance of finding and enacting ways to overcome the suffering within, it reminded me of the reason I felt so passionate about my mission to help those who’ve been wrongfully convicted. As I recalled the bullying I experienced as a child, I shared how it pertains to the people I represent. I also shared that by overcoming my anger and using it in a positive way, that energy became an effective tool in helping them combat the hardships they deal with daily.

As I’ve delved deeper into my soul during this journey, the process has promoted self-healing and I, in turn, am able to offer empathy and understanding to these people. In the process I’ve focused less on myself and created an avenue for inner rebirth and growth.

We all have a story to share. Some overcome their pain but many cannot. I’ve been blessed with an understanding that at any given time, there are people better off and worse off than me which lends a valuable perspective to whatever is put before me.

I’ll conclude by sharing a poem borne out of a haunting and dismal experience. Michael Piaskowski wrote it to start his own healing process. Having been able to use his anger wisely has given him the strength to help correct an injustice forced upon him and five other men. As of this moment, this poem represents much of the persistent anguish for the remaining five…

Doin’ Time by Mike Pie (Piaskowski)

DCI (Dodge Correctional Institution) January 1999

Prison Life,

Deadly Strife,

Den of evil fare



Burns so clear,

Toxin in the air


Eroded walls,

Wasted skills,

Souls lay vacant bare


Eternal stays,

Endless days,

Abysmal deep despair


Sordid needs,

Twisted deeds,

Bitter sad affair


Caustic blame,

Ugly shame,

Guilt for all to share


Shattered dreams,

Nightmare screams,

Tainted empty prayer


Family ties,

Sibling cries,

Slain in mode unfair


Justice blind,

Truth unkind,

Bias far from rare


Fatal part,

Future dark,

Enough not seem to care



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